Composition is simply the arrangement of all the elements that consist of a scene in a photograph. Effective composition can make the difference between a good shot and a great one.
There are various aspects to photographic composition such as the framing, effective use of light and shadow, use of space and dimensions, as well as effective use of depth of field.
Here are the top 6 guidelines to help you frame your photos, although you should also remember that while there are guidelines, such are not cast-iron rules. Rules can be bent or even broken for the sake of actualizing our utmost creativity.
Your scene should not be complex or overcrowded. A simple scene can be the most appealing shot you will ever make. Unburden the background and bring all the attention to your image. Let the audience see more in less by decluttering your background and properly using your depth of field.
2. Apply Rule of Thirds
You don’t necessarily have to centralize your image for it to receive the attention it deserves. Split the frame into thirds using your imagination and then place your image at the point where you have the intersections of the imaginary lines that splits your frame into thirds.
3. Fill the Frame
Unused photographic space can be the undoing of what should otherwise have been a great shot. Professional photographers know how important it is for them to be able to make space interpret what they see in their shots.
You have to avoid having too much ‘negative’ or unused space as they can take away the attention from the image itself. To remove unused space, you can zoom in on the image or go closer to it to fill up the shot frame.
4. Use Diagonal Lines
Diagonal lines help create motion in pictures even when the subject is stationary. This is one thing that distinguishes diagonal lines from other composition techniques. The ability to use this technique gives your photographic composition dynamism and energy as well as a professional appeal.
5. Frame within a Frame
While planning how to frame your shots, you may want to consider using natural frames like windows, doors, gaps between structures, etc to your advantage. These can help ensure that you can manage your shots in such a way that they are not affected by negative space. This is what is known as a frame-within-a-frame in photography. What effect that has on the picture is that it presents a neat natural frame that is already part of the picture.
6. Make Your Subject the Centre of the Frame
Have your subject fill the frame in such a way that they are the center of attraction or focus in the picture. Be up close and personal with your subjects so that they become the dominant feature of the shot.
Like, will mention earlier, doing this will help you to eliminate unused or negative space. You can do that by either zooming in on the image or going close to them until they fill up the frame.
There are many other important rules of composition that you can apply to be able to get very good photographs. But to be able to do that, you have to make sure that you put these rules into practice as that is the only way to see their effects on your work.
But, if it affects your creative freedom, be willing to disobey the rules. Your originality is your identity, and it will set you apart from the mass of photographers in the ecosystem.
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